What to Do After You Witness a Car Accident in California
Were you a witness to a car accident? Do you carry any responsibility as a car accident witness? We’ll help clarify those answers here.
Car accidents can happen when you least expect it to. You could be on your way to work, and notice a speeding driver making his or her way down the street. The speeding driver goes over a red light and directly crashes into a vehicle that was given the right-of-way to drive. As a witness, you are given the opportunity to get out of your vehicle and assist the victim or drive away without providing any helpful information that could support the victim if they choose to file a personal injury lawsuit against the speeding driver.
If you choose to assist the victim, you should have an idea of what to do in order to be of use in such a traumatic moment. In the section below, we have created a list of steps a witness should do to help a victim of a car accident.
If you or a loved one were involved in a car accident due to the negligence of another party, you may be entitled to acquire compensation for damages. Our qualified car accident attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers are readily available to assist victims of personal injury. With our track record of recovering more than $1 billion in settlements for our clients, we are confident that we will deliver a good outcome to your case.
To schedule a free consultation, please contact our 24/7 legal team by calling 213-927-3700 or filling out our quick contact form.
What to Do if You Witness a Car Accident
Being a witness does not make it mandatory for you to stop and assist those who are involved in a car accident. However, if you choose to do this, you may help save a person’s life, hold the responsible party accountable, and build a claim or case for the victim(s). Here are some steps you can take if you are a witness to a car accident and would like to lend out a helping hand:
- Pull over at a safe distance from the scene of the accident. Before taking any action to aid those involved in a car accident, it is imperative to pull your vehicle over at a safe distance, turn off your ignition and stabilize yourself. Take a deep breath, then do what you have to do to assist those involved in the accident. However, you must put your safety first, avoid confrontations with anyone involved, and only do what you can to assist victims if they need immediate attention.
- Call 911. This is a vital step. Once the police officers arrive at the scene of the accident, they will file an official police report. This document can play an important role in proving who is at-fault for causing the car accident.
- Offer your assistance to anyone who needs it. If you see that there is someone in critical need of medical assistance while you all wait for medics to arrive, offer what you can, but be sure to take the appropriate steps concerning the injury. You should not try to move somebody who is in critical condition or passed out, as doing so can cause further damages to injuries. What you can do is offer your support and comfort to them while they are awaiting assistance. However, if you see someone bleeding profusely, you can offer what cloth material you can to wrap around the wound and apply pressure to help stop the bleeding.
- Inspect the other vehicles, if needed. You should check on the other drivers and/or passengers to see if they might be injured. It is also important to make sure that the engine of a vehicle is placed in park mode and the ignition is turned off. Doing this will reduce the chances of an oil spill, which could result in an explosion or fire.
- Make sure no vehicles involved leave the scene of the accident before exchanging information. It is important that the parties involved exchange insurance and contact information so that they can file accident insurance claims. However, some people might find a way to flee the scene of an accident before doing that.
- Make a statement and leave your contact information. When police arrive, state what you witnessed in the accident and provide your contact information. This will go on file and can assist any parties involved in filing an accident insurance claim. You could be called on by an attorney if a lawsuit is filed. You may potentially testify in court, as well.
- Photograph the crash and make a note of the license plate numbers that were involved in the accident. It is important to do this step because it will show proof of the amount of drivers involved in the accident.
These are the seven steps you should take in the case that you witness an accident. While it might seem burdensome to take on this responsibility, it is a moral duty to help others and support them in their time of need. Witnesses play a key role in helping victims of injuries from car accidents recover well and get the financial compensation they deserve.
Need a Car Accident Attorney? West Coast Trial Lawyers Can Help
If you have sustained injuries as a result of a car accident, our skilled team of car accident attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers can help you recover compensation for the losses you have suffered, including medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Contact us today by calling 213-927-3700 or filling out our contact form to schedule a free consultation with our experienced, caring, and compassionate legal team.